Advertisement

The Political Economy of Networked Intimacy

  • Cristina Miguel
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter analyses Web 2.0 technologies and their pervasive imperative of sharing under the culture of participation. It explores the political economy of social media platforms in relation to intimacy, insofar as they facilitate the creation and development of close relationships but, at the same time, profit from these intimate relationships through data mining or charging a fee to access the service or to use premium services. In order to stress the connections between the political economy of social media companies and the intimacy practices they facilitate, this chapter examines the business models of Badoo, CouchSurfing, and Facebook, including participants’ perceptions on the ways these companies monetize their traffic and the market intervention in the creation of new relationships.

Keywords

Intimacy Platforms Political economy Sharing Social media 

References

  1. Anderson, C. (2006, November 26). In praise of radical transparency. The long tail. http://www.longtail.com/the_long_tail/2006/11/in_praise_of_ra.html. Date Accessed 25 Nov 2015.
  2. Andrejevic, M. (2010). Social network exploitation. In Z. Papacharissi (Ed.), Networked self: Identity, community, and culture on social network sites (pp. 82–102). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  3. Arvidsson, A. (2006). “Quality singles”: Internet dating and the work of fantasy. New Media & Society, 8(4), 671–690.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Barbrook, R. (1998). The hi-tech gift economy. First Monday, 3(12), http://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/631/552. Date Accessed 10 Oct 2013.
  5. Basset, C. (2013). Silence, Delirium, Lies? In G. Lovink & M. Rasch (Eds.), Unlike us reader: Social media monopolies and their alternatives (pp. 146–158). Amsterdam: Institute of Network Cultures.Google Scholar
  6. Baym, N. K. (2010). Personal connection in the digital age. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  7. Bialski, P. (2007). Intimate tourism: Friendships in a state of mobility—The case of the online hospitality network. M.A. thesis, University of Warsaw.Google Scholar
  8. boyd, d. (2014). It’s complicated: The social lives of networked teens. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  9. Brake, D. R. (2014). Sharing our lives online: Risks and exposure in social media. London: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Castells, M. (2009). Communication power. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  11. Chambers, D. (2013). Social media and personal relationships: Online intimacies and networked friendship. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Cocks, H. G. (2015). The pre-history of print and online dating, c. 1690–1990. In I. A. Degim, J. Johnson, & T. Fu (Eds.), Online courtship: Interpersonal interactions across borders (pp. 17–28). Amsterdam: Institute of Network Cultures.Google Scholar
  13. Coleman, S., & Kaposi, I. (2009). A study of e-participation projects in third-wave democracies. International Journal of Electronic Governance, 2(4), 302–327.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Couldry, N. (2012). Media, society, world: Social theory and digital media practice. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  15. Curran, J. (2012). Rethinking Internet history. In J. Curran, N. Fenton, & D. Freedman (Eds.), Misunderstanding the Internet (pp. 3–33). London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Doerr, J., Benlian, A., Vetter, J., & Hess, T. (2010). Pricing of content services: An empirical investigation of music as a service. Sustainable e-business Management, 58, 13–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Dror, Y. (2013). “We are not here for the money”: Founders’ manifestos. New Media & Society, 17(4), 540–555.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Ellison, N. B., Vitak, J., Steinfield, C., Gray, R., & Lampe, C. (2011). Negotiation privacy concerns and social capital needs in a social media environment. In S. Trepte & L. Reinecke (Eds.), Privacy online: Perspective on privacy and self-disclosure on the social web (pp. 19–32). New York: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Enguix, B., & Ardèvol, E. (2011). Enacting bodies: Online dating and new media practices. In K. Ross (Ed.), The handbook of gender, sex and media (pp. 502–515). Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.Google Scholar
  20. Feldman, Z. (2012). Beyond freedom and oppression: Social media, refusal and the politics of participation. In: IR 13.0 Conference of the AoIR, 18/21 October 2012, Salford. http://spir.aoir.org/index.php/spir/article/viewFile/6/pdf. Accessed 18 Feb 2015.
  21. Fuchs, C. (2014). Social media: A critical introduction. London: Sage Publications.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Gallagher, B. (2012). CouchSurfing rises $15 million series B from general catalyst partners, Menlo ventures, others. TechCrunch. http://techcrunch.com/2012/08/22/couchsurfing-raises-15-million-series-b-from-general-catalyst-partners-others/. Date Accessed 19 Feb 2015.
  23. Gehl, R. W. (2013). “Why I left Facebook”: Stubbornly refusing to not exist even after opting out of Mark Zuckerberg’s social graph. In G. Lovink & M. Rasch (Eds.), Unlike us reader: Social media monopolies and their alternatives (pp. 220–238). Amsterdam: Institute of Network Cultures.Google Scholar
  24. Gehl, R. W. (2014). Reverse engineering social media: Software, culture, and political economy in new media capitalism. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.Google Scholar
  25. Gillespie, T. (2010). The politics of “platforms”. New Media & Society, 12(3), 347–364.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Hearn, A. (2008). “Meat, mask, burden”: Probing the contours of the branded “self”. Journal of Consumer Culture, 8(2), 197–217.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Hearn, A. (2010). Structuring feeling: Web 2.0, online ranking and rating, and the digital “reputation” economy. Ephemera, 10(3/4), 421–438.Google Scholar
  28. Heino, R. D., Ellison, N. B., & Gibbs, J. L. (2010). Relationshopping: Investigating the market metaphor in online dating. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 27(4), 427–447.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Hesmondhalgh, D. (2013). The cultural industries (3rd ed.). London: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  30. Hinton, S., & Hjorth, L. (2013). Understanding social media. London: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  31. Illouz, E. (2007). Cold intimacies: The making of emotional capitalism. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  32. Jagger, E. (2001). Marketing Molly and Melville: Dating in a postmodern, consumer society. Sociology, 35(1), 39–57.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Jamieson, L. (2013). Personal relationships, intimacy and the self in a mediated and global digital age. In K. Orton-Johnson & N. Prior (Eds.), Digital Sociology (pp. 13–33). New York: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Jenkins, H. (2006). Convergence culture: Where old and new media collide. New York: New York University Press.Google Scholar
  35. Jenkins, H., Ford, S., & Green, J. (2013). Spreadable media: Creating value and meaning in a networked culture. New York: New York University Press.Google Scholar
  36. John, N. A. (2013a). Sharing and web 2.0: The emergence of a keyword. New Media & Society, 15(2), 167–182.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. John, N. A. (2013b). The social logics of sharing. The Communication Review, 16(3), 113–131.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Kennedy, J. (2013). Rhetorics of sharing: Data, imagination, and desire. In G. Lovink & M. Rasch (Eds.), Unlike us reader: Social media monopolies and their alternatives (pp. 127–136). Amsterdam: Institute of Network Cultures.Google Scholar
  39. Kücklich, J. (2005). Precarious playbour: Modders and the digital games industry. Fibreculture, 5. http://five.fibreculturejournal.org/fcj-025-precarious-playbour-modders-and-the-digital-games-industry/. Date Accessed 10 Oct 2013.
  40. Lardellier, P. (2015). Liberalism conquering love: Reports and reflections on mass romantic and sexual consumption in the Internet age. In I. A. Degim, J. Johnson, & T. Fu (Eds.), Online courtship: Interpersonal interactions across borders (pp. 96–105). Amsterdam: Institute of Network Cultures.Google Scholar
  41. Lévy, P. (2001). Cyberculture. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  42. Lindsay, M. (2015). Performative acts of gender in online dating: An auto-ethnography comparing sites. In I. A. Degim, J. Johnson, & T. Fu (Eds.), Online courtship: Interpersonal interactions across borders (pp. 242–261). Amsterdam: Institute of Network Cultures.Google Scholar
  43. Marwick, A. E. (2013). Status update: Celebrity, publicity, and branding in the social media age. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  44. Marwick, A. E., & boyd, d. (2011). I tweet honestly, I tweet passionately. Twitter users, context collapse, and the imagined audience. New Media & Society, 13(1), 114–133.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Miller, D. (2011). Tales from Facebook. Cambridge, MA: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  46. O’Reilly, T. (2005). What is web 2.0? Design patterns and business models for the next generation of software. O’Reilly Media, Inc. 30 September. http://www.oreilly.com/pub/a//web2/archive/what-is-web-20.html, Date Accessed 13 July 2014.
  47. Papacharissi, Z. (2010). A private sphere: Democracy in a digital age. Cambridge, MA: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  48. Putman, R. (2001). Bowling alone: The collapse and revival of american community. New York: Simon and Schister Ltd.Google Scholar
  49. Senft, T. M. (2012). Microcelebrity and the branded self. In J. Burgess & A. Bruns (Eds.), Blackwell companion to new media dynamics (pp. 346–654). Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  50. Shepherd, T. (2014). Gendering the commodity audience in social media. In L. Steiner, L. McLaughlin, & C. Carte (Eds.), The Routledge companion to media and gender. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  51. Terranova, T. (2000). Free labor: Producing culture for the digital economy. Social Text, 18(2), 33–58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Van Dijck, J. (2013). The culture of connectivity: A critical history of social media. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Van Dijck, J., & Nieborg, D. (2009). Wikinomics and its discontents: A critical analysis of web 2.0 business manifestos. New Media & Society, 11(5), 855–874.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Verdú, V. (2005). Yo y tú, objetos de lujo: El personismo: la primera revolución cultural del siglo XXI. Barcelona: Random House Mandadori.Google Scholar
  55. Vitak, J., Ellison, N. B., & Steinfield, C. (2011). The ties that bond: Re-examining the relationship between Facebook use and bonding social capital. In System sciences (HICSS), 4/7 January, Kauai, HI (pp. 1–10). Kauai: IEEE.Google Scholar
  56. Wellman, B., Quan-Haase, A., Boase, J., Chen, W., Hampton, K. N., & Díaz de Isla Gómez, I. (2003). The social affordances of the Internet for networked individualism. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 8(3). http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1083-6101.2003.tb00216.x/full. Date Accessed 5 June 2012.
  57. Yoder, S. (2014). How online dating became a $2 billion industry. Fiscal Times. http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Articles/2014/02/14/Valentines-Day-2014-How-Online-Dating-Became-2-Billion-Industry. Date Accessed 5 December 2015.
  58. Zelizer, V. A. (2009). The purchase of intimacy. Princeton: Princeton University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cristina Miguel
    • 1
  1. 1.Business SchoolLeeds Beckett UniversityLeedsUK

Personalised recommendations